Watching those kids grow up has been great. One of my students couldn't canter when she came to me. I helped her buy her first horse, and she showed on the local circuit this year. The local trainers sure didn't like that I was bringing students to shows. I'm only 17, so that was somewhat annoying to them. I've been working in this area for years, though, so I didn't see the issue. Anyways, my student and I worked really hard throughout the season. In January I will be attending the awards banquet, happily watching her accept her reserve champion for 18" crossrail equitation, reserve champion for 2'0" equitation, and a 6th place for 2'0" hunter. The trainers don't say mean things about us anymore :) Did I mention that for the first 9 months of the year, we only had 2 jumps to practice on? (In contrast to a course of 7ish)
One of my greatest challenges has been starting a rider on a horse. I saw another student get on a horse for the first time last year. The other day I saw her jump her first vertical with equitation that George Morris would applaud (not to brag :) I just cannot believe how far she has come! What a pleasure to work with such motivated, determined girls.
So I guess the whole point of that was to brag on my students, but I am curious about other's experiences teaching kids. How do you keep them interested? What exercises are most useful? What have your students taught you?